Branchville Road house torn down

A pair of business partners who buy and resell troubled properties have taken down the long derelict house at 197 Branchville Road and hope to build a new house there.

The owners, Alket Dajani and Aleks Rakaj, brought the property in July for $280,000. The seller was Black Lab Advisors LLC of Wilton.

“They do real estate. They do some development work, small projects here and there. They’ve been at it a for a couple of years,” said Ray Lemley, an attorney who works with the partners.

“They try to buy foreclosed houses, fix them up — they try to stick to higher-end neighborhoods, and fix ‘em up and flip them.

“I do a lot of their permitting work for them,” Lemley said. “They’re both immigrants from Albania; I kind of deal with government approval stuff, a facilitator so to speak. I handle a lot of the paperwork.

The lot is roughly “an acre-plus,” Lemley said.

“We pulled the permit and did the demo, they’re doing the clean up now,” Lemley said. “We’ve got to stake the wetlands and have a new survey done to lay the foundation. The plan is to put in a brand new house there of between 5,000 and 6,000 square feet.

“We’re just waiting on final designs and then we’ll start the approval process with the town. We’ll start with wetlands approval.

“From speaking to folks in the town, it’s kind of been an eye sore for quite some time,” Lemley said. “I think everyone’s happy it’s being redone.”

Bill Reynolds, head of Ridgefield’s Building Department, said the property owners had gotten a demolition permit in August and had the tear-down work was done in early to mid-September.

“I saw it last week and realized it was all down, as well, but the foundation had not been pulled out. The foundation was still in the ground,” Reynolds said Thursday, Sept. 21.

“We got a call to go and inspect this morning. The foundation is all gone, it’s all backfilled, leveled-off the way it’s supposed to be,” he said.

“Cut and dried, they took the permit out, they knocked the house down  — it’s down, it’s cleaned, it’s backfilled.”